after a post last year regarding my Citi Secured card and doing another deep search on these forums about it.... I decided to give it the axe.
opened 3/2020. Limit $300. Used often and PIF most months prior to statement cut. Received the update letter via snail mail this week saying they'll review another 12 months beginning In late September. Despite reading numerous members give others advice to keep it open and in the sock drawer, I decided to phone in and cancel it today.
the kind rep did offer to lower my APR from 21.49% to 13.99% for the next 12 months if I'd keep it open. I said respectfully, I will still choose to close it. It's officially closed and I have mixed emotions.
Did I outgrow it? Yes. Did I know after reading up on it 6 months in that it could take a few years? Yes. Is it the deposit I needed back? No. Did I realize I could have PC'd the Diamond Preferred to a Custom Cash a while after my eventual graduation? Yep, sure did.
while I'd like a relationship with Citi- I am nearly certain my denial was based on my credit seeking. My rebuild is based on two things - 1) medical collections over the years as I love getting injured in Recreational sports (not!) and 2) a 5.5 year auto loan charge off with Santander. No BK and no more collections as I type this. I was prepared to go another year as I have so many inquiries that not even a horse would loan me a bail of hay right now. Yes, it's easy to roll the dice or to not fight temptation and get new credit for stores i frequent/utilization padding/things I could use (Care Credit)/and just because you finally feel good about yourself for being approved for other things (finally). In my mind I am 99.9% certain that credit seeking led to my demise of being secured for another year as my reported income has increased, my scores have increased, ultilization of revolving accounts has been down to ~10% for a few consecutive months, and my credit limits have increased here and there along with new credit. Again, I'm embarrassed to mention how many inq's I have acquired - but no shame here as you all are wonderful and the brutal raw truth isn't made to make you feel bad in these forums but to learn and grow from.
by the time I'd even be able to get in with Citi (once my 8-10 scoreable inq's aren't scoreable and the non-scoreable fall off) I would have likely (hopefully) improved my scores, paid auto loan down, possibly have a mortgage (~2-3 years) and even higher income. Therefore I felt it was OKAY to not sock drawer this secured card and to instead close it. If I had any chances of getting a Custom Cash within the next 12 months then the easy and likely right choice would have been to keep it open.
to all those who are holding on to a secured Citi- hang in there and do what is best for you. I am not hurt by Citi or bitter. I just know the chances of getting anything more with them are slim to none for quite some time.
I'm not sure that this would affect my AAoA since I read many times that a closed account won't do that as it'll still be in the reports as such. However I have also read otherwise.
Currently my AAoA sits at 3 years 3 months (6 new reported accounts recently and none left to report). AoYA ~1 month. AoOA 14 years 10 months.
I only posted this for others who inquire about this card. I knew it had zero rewards going in. It has served it's purpose and I was and am still grateful to be approved when I was.
It helped me when I needed it and I used it frequently until other doors opened for me.
Lastly- let me have it! Did I make the wrong decision ? I'm torn and I can still sleep at night. Haha
I think closing it was the right move if the card no longer made your finances or lifestyle better or easier, which seems to be the case.
It is a solid secured card, and there are reasons for a rebuilder to have it, but the fact that it can graduate isn't a great reason, IMO.
By the time it graduates, you will have had time to close it, wait a while and open an unsecured Citi card, and will probably end up with a much higher CL. If your credit isn't improved enough to do that, it also won't be improved enough to unsecure this card.
I think it is easier to get an unsecured Citi card than it is to get this card unsecured. There aren't enough DPs to be confident in that claim, but it's the impression I get.
I opened one of these cards (my very first card in 20 years, other than AUs) in March of 2019, and closed it in August of 2019. Had I kept it open, it would supposedly have unsecured around Sept or Oct of 2020, though it might have been earlier or later. Instead, I opened two unsecured Citi cards in March and April of 2020, with initial credit limits of $8,500 and $10,500 respectively. What would I have gained by keeping the secured card open? I think the fact that this card can graduate is more of a distraction than an actually useful feature.
Good luck as you continue your journey!